Alumni Perspective: John Carmichael

We asked our alumni to answer questions about their experience with TYRA. Rowing in college might not be for everyone, however, for some student-athletes, it’s the perfect ticket to continue a life-long passion for the sport and get a great education. We have had many student athletes graduate the program and attend universities and colleges such as MIT, Boston University, Yale, Gonzaga, The University of Tulsa, The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City University, The University of Central Oklahoma, University of Virginia, Southern Methodist University, The University of Kansas and Washington University to name a few.

What advice do you have for someone who is looking to try the sport for the first time?

I would say jump in and try it. The Learn to Row camp is one of the most fun things I have gotten to do in the summer, and the coaching staff is unique in that they really care about everyone who goes through the program. I would also tell them to stick with it for at least their novice year because the camaraderie built and the teamwork developed runs much deeper than most other organizations due to the common goal and the tough road to get there. One of the other great things about rowing is that if you are having a bad day, it gives you an outlet to get out some energy and aggression. Push yourself and row hard. Everyone has the potential to row; it’s just a matter of unlocking it. I’m not going to sugar coat it, rowing is a really tough sport. However, sticking with it proved to be one of my most rewarding experiences.

What is the most important thing you learned while at TYRA?

I really learned how to push myself both mentally and physically. That skill has translated into college and the workforce. I have the ability to embrace the hard times and push through them. There have been a lot of instances where I didn’t know how I was going to meet a deadline or there was too much going on at once, and it reminded me a lot of the race course. I knew that if I just kept going and pressing harder, it would be over before I knew it, often with favorable results.